Hudson, Ruiz headline free agent day

Hudson, Ruiz headline free agent day
November 18, 2013, 4:30 pm
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The San Francisco Giants reportedly have reached an agreement with free agent right-hander Tim Hudson on a two-year $23 million contract.

Hudson had been linked with the Orioles, and it removes one of their more realistic targets. While a two-year deal fits into their parameters, $23 million over that time probably doesn’t fit.

At 38, Hudson’s 205 wins tie him with CC Sabathia for the leading active winner now that Andy Pettitte has announced his retirement.

Hudson won 20 games in his second big league season, back in 2000, and has eight years of 15 or more wins.

Former Nationals general manager Jim Bowden, who now has a radio show on Sirius/XM radio tweeted that Bronson Arroyo, another Orioles target has had interest from the Giants, Dodgers, Angels, Phillies and Twins, too.

With Hudson’s signing, that presumably removes the Giants from Arroyo’s suitors. San Francisco also re-signed Tim Lincecum to a two-year, $35 million contract. $58 million over the next two years to Hudson and Lincecum probably means Arroyo goes elsewhere.

There was a report this weekend that the Minnesota Twins had at least contemplated a four-year offer for Arroyo. Even though Arroyo is 36, he’s never been on the disabled list, and like Hudson, didn’t receive a qualifying offer from his 2013 team and won’t mean losing a draft pick.

The early free agent talk has been about Arroyo, Hudson and Ricky Nolasco. Even though Nolasco has been asking for a five-year, $80 million contract, he may be more attractive than Ervin Santana because he doesn’t have a qualifying tag.

Last year, Kyle Lohse and Michael Bourn were late signers because teams had to surrender a draft pick. It’s not going to bother a team signing Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury or Shin-Shoo Choo, but could well be a deterrent for someone considering Santana.

A four-year deal for Arroyo is probably not in the Orioles’ plans. At 36, he’s more likely a two-year signing for them.

The Phillies re-signed Carlos Ruiz for three years at $26 million. It’s the second major signing for Philadelphia in the last week. Outfielder Marlon Byrd, also supposedly an Orioles target, signed for two years at $16 million with a third year option.

A possible less expensive Orioles target has declared his free agency, Jeff Niemann. The 31-year-old right-hander missed last season after shoulder and labrum surgery. Tampa Bay outrighted him, and Niemann cut his ties with the Rays.

As a one-year, relatively low budget signing, Niemann would make sense for the Orioles given his familiarity with the American League East.

Dan Duquette always likes to sign a veteran to add to his stock of starters, and Niemann could fit with Baltimore.

NOTES: The Orioles signed left-handed pitcher Kelvin De La Cruz to a one-year contract on Monday afternoon. Last year, De La Cruz was 3-1 with a 2.89 ERA for the Dodgers' Triple-A Albuquerque affiliate. 

The 25-year-old left-hander has also pitched in the Cleveland and Detroit organizations. He was a teammate of T.J. McFarland in the Indians' farm system. The move gives the Orioles another left-hander to compete for a spot in the bullpen.

The Orioles signed four minor league free agents. They’re right-handed pitcher Brock Huntzinger, left-hander Nick Additon and outfielders Chih-Hsien Chiang and Kyeong Kang. They also formally announced the re-signing of right-handed pitcher Tim Alderson, whose signing was reported earlier this month.

Huntzinger was a third-round pick of the Red Sox in 2007. He was 2-2 with a 1.43 ERA in 24 games for Triple-A Pawtucket.

Additon is 27 and has pitched in the Cardinals’ organization since 2007. In 2013, he was 9-7 with a 4.10 ERA with Triple-A Memphis.

Chiang, a 25-year-old native of Taiwan, has played in the U.S. since 2006. Last year, he hit 11 home runs and had 52 RBIs with a .263 average for Frisco, Texas’ Triple-A affiliate.

Kang is a 25-year-old native of Korea, who went to high school in Georgia, and has been in the Tampa Bay organization since 2007. In 2013, he hit .251 with 15 home runs and 45 RBIs for Double-A Montgomery.